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À la Une

Serge Breysse:"La malnutrition aiguë sévère est une maladie mortelle, ce n'est pas une cause indirecte de mortalité"

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“Thanks everybody to be here.

We are happy and proud that we succeed with our partners to organize this side-event at the World Health Assembly as we are convinced that the adoption of the Comprehensive Implementation Plan is an important step in the fight against undernutrition.

As you know Action Contre la Faim (ACF) is an NGO with a double expertise:

  • we work on prevention of undernutrition through a multi sectorial approach (through WASH, health, care practices and Food security project)
  • and we are as well specialized in the management of severe acute malnutrition (SAM)

This gives us a global view on what is needed to eradicate hunger as well as the importance of life saving activities.
SAM is a killing disease, not an underlying cause of death. It is interacting in a vicious circle with other diseases, and will be responsible of millions of death from now to the end of MDGS if we don’t scale up the treatment with solution that have proven being efficient.

Even if ACF still respond to food crisis, it is obvious that nowadays most cases of SAM are endemic in developing or emerging countries as a consequence of poverty and inequality and therefore deserve a permanent, sustainable, and integrated response.

In this frame, ACF’s interventions have partly evolved in the past years from direct intervention to support to Ministries of Health for the integration of management of acute malnutrition in the health system.

Our goal is that in the future, every country will be able to manage cases through the integration of treatment of SAM in their Basic Package of Health Services and that we will reach the objective of a universal coverage for treatment of SAM cases.

That’s why ACF, with its partners feels the CIP initiative is crucial and needs to emphasize the importance of wasting.

We have the opportunity to discuss today with all the participants on the best way to support a successful implementation at country level of this plan and how to coordinate this initiative with others like SUN. This is where difference will be made.

I have few minutes only so I will mention the main challenges that we feel health and nutrition community (states, institution, NGOs…) should address at country level to make things happen, and we think WHO has a central role for the following actions:

  • First, we need to join our efforts to raise more funds, as our study “aid for nutrition” shows that there is a huge gap in term of funding for nutrition intervention (less than 1% of the funds needed are currently available)
  • Second, we need to ensure good coordination with other initiatives like SUN, REACH, etc… to allow synergy in the support to government to strengthen their health system and integrate Community Management of Acute Malnutrition in order to reach the universal coverage for treatment of SAM.
  • We also need to work on a data collection system to properly document and follow the burden of SAM and its evolution in the world
  • Finally, as experts, we have to ensure that the best practices and norms are applied for malnutrition management, and encourage research and innovation to simplify it and reduce the cost of intervention.

To conclude, I just want to let you know that ACF is more and more working on advocacy and we are starting here what we hope being a partnership with all of you to ensure that SAM will be recognized as a major problem of public health with adequate funding and that WHO will support us in our fight to recognize, record, and adequately treat severe cases of acute malnutrition.

Thank you very much.”

Dr Serge Breysse, Director of Advocacy, ACF-France

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